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Pat St Clement says she doesn’t want to visit Alzheimer’s sufferer Barbara Windsor in case it ends up ‘confusing her’.
Clement, 76, acted alongside Windsor, 80, on EastEnders for almost 20 years as Pat Butcher and Peggy Mitchell, respectively.
Speaking to the Daily Star, St Clement said she was worried about confusing her old friend, after it was revealed by husband Scott Mitchell, 55, in May of this year that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
‘I’m sad I haven’t been able to visit Barbara due to her illness, St Clement confessed. ‘I have been in constant touch with Scott [Mitchell], Barbara’s husband, but I couldn’t speak to Barbara directly in case it confused her,’ she said.
Despite the likelihood of seeing an old friend and familiar face that would arguably help her and not cause any confusion in her current state, the former EastEnders actress said she didn’t feel it appropriate as she was particularly ill at present: ‘Any plans to see her have also had to be put on hold because she is poorly.’
The pair shared their last scene together in front of the cameras in 2016, when Windsor’s Peggy took her own life upon learning that she had terminal cancer.
Rita Simons, 41, played Windsor’s niece Roxy, said that the ageing icon has become more confused in recent times: ‘What I have seen is more confusion, she stated, ‘which is really devastating to watch because she always had her marbles together and was always the life and soul of the room.
‘It is an incredibly sad thought that my Aunty Peggy, which is what I’ve always called Barbara, isn’t herself.’
She also said the star has good and bad days, and that her husband is doing an ‘amazing’ job looking after her: ‘From what Scott says there are some dark days but they still have good days, too. Scott is doing an amazing job. I don’t know what she would do without Scott.’
Mitchell initially revealed the news during an interview with the Sun, whereby he announced that his wife, Barbara, would be stepping down from acting commitments to focus on her health.
‘I hope speaking out will help other families dealing with loved ones who have this cruel disease,’ he said.
‘Secondly, I want the public to know because they are naturally very drawn to Barbara and she loves talking to them.’
Windsor is most famously appeared in over 1,500 episodes of BBC’s EastEnders, which began in 1994 and concluded in 2016 and the string of Carry On movies she appeared in over the years.
If you need any further information on coping with Alzheimer’s Disease, visit the Alzheimer’s website.