Musician Tyler James has written a new biography of the late singer-songwriter, who died in 2011. In it, James claims that Winehouse developed a friendship with Windsor, who died last year.
“When she met Barbara it was as though she became a new nan figure for her,” James told The Sun. “Amy was in and out of private hospitals being treated for addiction to alcohol but it was easy to sneak out and Barbara lived round the corner.”
Winehouse and her husband Scott Mitchell tried to assist Winehouse in her sobriety, James added, while Windsor would indulge Winehouse’s love of EastEnders.
He claimed that Winehouse would ask Windsor to drag old EastEnders scripts out of storage and re-enact famous scenes with her. Winehouse would always play Windsor’s EastEnders character Peggy Mitchell.
“Barbara loved it and she’d play Pat Butcher,” James said. “Amy being Amy, with her accents and impressions, got right into it. There was a proper connection between them. When we left, Barbara always said to me, ‘Look after her, Tyler.’ It was a comforting place for her to go.”
Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27. To mark the 10th anniversary of her death, the BBC is launching a series of programmes celebrating her life and career.
Documentary Amy Winehouse: 10 Years On, which will be broadcast on BBC Two this summer, will feature friends, family and loved ones sharing memories of the late icon, alongside previously unseen material provided by Winehouse’s family. Winehouse’s mother Janis will also be involved in the film.
James’s book My Amy: Memories of Amy Winehouse from Her Best Friend will be released on 8 June.