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Dame Barbara Windsor delighted fans as she made a rare TV appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday 12 December amid her ongoing dementia battle.
The former EastEnders actor appeared in a pre-recorded video with her partner Scott Mitchell, as she wished viewers and the show’s presenters a happy Christmas from herself and the Alzheimer’s Society.
During the same broadcast, Mitchell joined hosts Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins in the studio to talk about GMB’s 1 Million Minutes campaign, which aims to raise awareness of loneliness in the UK and inspire people to volunteer and spend an hour of their time with someone struggling with loss.
For the campaign, the show has teamed up with six charities, Grief Encounter, The Not Forgotten, The Silver Line, Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) and the Princes Trust and Alzheimer’s Society - which Windsor has been an ambassador of since her 82nd birthday in August 2019.
'The difference it makes to have a visit, just for that hour, it changes the whole day.'
Dame Barbara Windsor's husband Scott Mitchell says every hour volunteered makes a huge impact.
Pledge your time and help loneliness with #1millionminutes
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) December 12, 2019
Providing an update on Windsor’s health, Mitchell said: “Barbara is doing okay, thank you. As we always say, it’s a progressive illness so you always expect things to get a little bit worse as you go along, but she’s still got that lovely sense of fun within her.
She still loves to sit there and giggle and I make her laugh and she makes me laugh.
“She’s still got that sparkle,” replied Shephard, as Mitchell noted: “She really has, but obviously the confusion is very unsettling for her. We’ve been really fortunate, we’ve had some really consistent friends and family who’ve been there since we went public with it.”
Windsor - who famously played Peggy Mitchell on the long-running BBC soap - was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in April 2014. She and Mitchell announced the news to the public four years later.
Earlier this year, Mitchell and some of Windsor’s former co-stars, including Jake Wood and Natalie Cassidy, took part in the London Marathon in aid of Alzheimer-related organisations.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.