EastEnders' Shane Richie and Patsy Palmer break down in tears live on air in emotional tribute to Barbara Windsor

EastEnders' Shane Richie and Patsy Palmer break down in tears live on air in emotional tribute to Barbara Windsor


EASTENDERS stars Shane Richie and Patsy Palmer broke down in tears live on air as they remembered Barbara Windsor.

Shane was co-hosting tonight's The One Show tribute to the star, who passed away at the age of 83 last night.

Meanwhile, Patsy appeared via video link from her home in Malibu as she shared her memories of the screen legend.

Both met Barbara while working on EastEnders, where the actress played iconic Peggy Mitchell.

Before Patsy appeared on tonight's BBC programme, there was a video that detailed Barbara's time on the soap – hosted by Larry Lamb.

As the camera cut back to the studio, the 48-year-old actress was in tears, with her face red as she clutched a tissue to wipe her eyes.

Presenter Alex Jones sympathetically said: "I know that you and Shane would have found that really tough to watch."

Shane then asked Patsy if she was okay, with the flame-haired beauty insisting that she was fine as she wiped her eyes.

His voice then started to crack as he remembered how much Barbara cared about EastEnders – and how welcome she made each new cast member feel.

Shane was then shown his first scene with Barbara on EastEnders, and he had his head in his hands afterwards.

Visibly emotional, he recalled how it was Barbara who suggested him to show bosses for the role of Alfie Moon.

The star said: "I got the part and she bought me a big bottle of champagne and said: 'Welcome to the family'.

"Without her I probably wouldn't be sitting here today."

Shane apologised as he fought back tears, failing to speak as he was overcome with emotion.

Later in the programme, Shane declined Alex's offer for him to read out viewer tributes to Barbara, apologising again as he told her he couldn't speak.

Shane also revealed that he last heard from his friend last month, with Barbara sending him love and advice before he entered the I'm A Celeb castle.

He explained: "Before I went and did the show in the castle, before they took our phones away in isolation, I got a text from Scott, Barbara's husband.

"He left a message saying: 'The Duchess sends her love, just be yourself'.

"That was the last time I heard from her."

Patsy previously paid tribute to Barbara on her Instagram page, sharing photos of the TV legend alongside the moving caption: "I’m extremely sad to hear that my friend 'Dame' Babara Windsor has passed away. I’m sitting here thinking of the 100’s of memories we shared. Too many to comprehend.

"We were like family for a long time, ups, downs, ins and outs but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs.

"@scott.mitchell3 You were the best husband she could’ve wished for. You deserve the highest accolade. We shared such magical times together and I’ll cherish every one.

"I can hear that laugh now as I sit and think about her. I hope it’ll ring in my ears forever. She always looked out for me and so did you.

"Love you both very much. I’m gutted! I could say so much but I’m so sad. RIP BABS . 😢😢😢😢🙏🏻"

Barbara's husband Scott Mitchell confirmed that the star had died "peacefully" at 8.35pm yesterday [10 December] evening at a London care home.

Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018.

In a moving tribute, he called her his "precious Bar" and said: "I've lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate."

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