Dame Barbara Windsor's husband on the real reason they chose to make her dementia diagnosis public

Katie Archer
Contributor
(ITV)

Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband has revealed the reason they had to speak out about her dementia was because she was struggling with fans recognising her.

Scott Mitchell appeared on This Morning with Windsor’s ex EastEnders co-star Natalie Cassidy to talk about his wife’s condition and said that while he was glad talking about her Alzheimer’s diagnosis had helped others in the same position, it wasn’t the reason why they had chosen to discuss it.

Read more: Barbara Windsor makes rare public appearance for musical

He said: “We went public because we couldn’t hide it any more.

“It was becoming quite obvious. People were coming up to Barbara all the time.”

Scott Mitchell and Natalie Cassidy spoke about Dame Barbara Windsor’s Alzheimer’s battle (ITV)

Windsor, who also starred in many Carry On films as well as playing Peggy Mitchell in the soap, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 but her husband first made the news public in May 2018.

Talking about realising that something was wrong, he said: “Different things were happening within her personality, she was becoming obviously very repetitive, that’s obviously one of the very early signs.

Read more: Barbara Windsor ‘no longer recognises home’

“She was having more troubles learning her lines, she was still at EastEnders at the time. 

“It’s a difficult conversation to have, because you don’t want to imply that you’re getting a bit old.

“I said to Barbara, ‘let’s go see someone because you’ve most likely worn yourself out learning all these lines’.”


Mitchell also spoke about the day-to-day stresses of life as Windsor’s condition has progressed.

He said: “It’s very changeable. Sometimes we’re sitting there having a very lucid conversation, watching telly, laughing and joking – and in a split second, she’ll say to me, ‘have you ever stayed in this place before?’ And that’s our front room.”


Joining him on the This Morning sofa was Cassidy, who is running the London Marathon for dementia charities with him as part of a team of Windsor’s friends and colleagues.

Cassidy, who has played Sonia Fowler in EastEnders since 1993, talked about her 25 years of knowing the star.

Read more: Barbara Windsor’s husband: Dementia battle horrible to witness

She said: “I’ve got this memory of her of just a wonderful woman who helped me and we had those matriarchal women at work, Barbara and Wendy Richard, and they taught us to be professional and know our lines, just strong women.

“I’m so fortunate that I had those women to teach me.”