Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Rebecca Cook

Dame Barbara's husband wakes up and thinks late wife is still alive as he reflects on grief

The husband of Dame Barbara Windsor has shared his grief two years after the loss of the EastEnders star to Alzheimer's during lockdown.

Scott Mitchell, her husband of 20 years, appeared on Good Morning Britain to remember his late wife following her death at the age of 83 in 2020.

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 and Scott revealed the news publicly four years later.

He said he first noticed symptoms of Alzheimer's in 2009, when Dame Barbara began finding it difficult to learn her lines.

By 2016, the forgetfulness and confusion were worse, and it was agreed she would leave her acting role as pub landlord Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.

Scott Mitchell was married to Dame Barbara for 20 years (ITV)

Scott told hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway how he still wakes up about thinks Dame Barbara is alive.

He said: “I talk about her and remember her with such joy. Two years is not a long time out of 27 years.

“I’m still in the early stages of grief and processing everything, but what I’m really trying to do is think of the really good times.

“Especially the early times when we first met. That’s been a really good thing for me, to go back.”

He added: "I lost my best friend. My other half. I think that's why I still feel that sense now of being in the house and feeling sometimes that she is there with me. Other times feeling the loneliness of her not being there anymore."

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 (Getty Images)
Scott told how he still wakes up about thinks Dame Barbara is alive. (Getty Images Europe)

It comes after Scott described Alzheimer’s as ‘the cruellest of diseases’ as he recalled her dementia towards the end of her life, which he has written about in By Your Side: My Life Loving Barbara Windsor.

Appearing on ITV ’s Lorraine, Scott said: “You are very powerless to stop it doing what it’s doing to the person you love.

“So all you can really do is you can be there, you learn as you go along as a carer.

“None of us are really equipped. I wasn’t qualified and it changed the whole time. So, you’re reacting the whole time to these new challenges.”

He continued: “It progresses and things do get more difficult and there’s less recognition with her and I.

Scott described Alzheimer’s as ‘the cruellest of diseases’ (ITV)

“She would look at our photos and then she would look back at me and say, ‘How long have you lived here?’ and I had most likely been there over 25 years.

“I would say, ‘I’ve been here ages. That’s our wedding picture.’ Occasionally, she would go ‘Are we married?’ I’d say yes and she would go ‘yes!’ It was very sweet – but heartbreaking.”

Host Lorraine Kelly replied: “It’s bittersweet isn’t it? Because it’s really hard when she doesn’t know you. That's so difficult.”

Lorraine went on to note Dame Barbara’s ‘remarkable’ legacy after the couple delivered a letter to Downing Street signed by 100,000 people, requesting better support for people with Alzheimer's in 2019.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.