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17/05/2018 16:58 BST | Updated 17/05/2018 17:12 BST

Barbara Windsor Vows To 'Carry On' In First Message Since Alzheimer's Condition Was Revealed

'Have a great day and have no fear... God bless, everyone.'

Dame Barbara Windsor has thanked fans and well-wishers for their support, after going public with her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Last week, Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell revealed that the veteran actress had been living with Alzheimer’s for the past four years.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the news broke in a audio message on Thursday’s (17 May) ‘Loose Women’, she assured fans she intended to “carry on” (a probably nod to her early roots in the British film series of the same name).

Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images
Barbara Windsor in 2016

In a birthday message to panellist Jane Moore, who conducted the Sun interview with Scott in which her condition was first revealed, Dame Barbara said: “I just want to wish you a very happy birthday, darling Jane. Thank you, thank you so much for being a loyal and good friend and helping Scott share my recent news.”

Taking the opportunity to express her gratitude to her fans, the former ‘EastEnders’ star continued: “I’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone for the lovely messages of support that I’ve been receiving, it really means such a lot to me, it truly does.

“Have a great day and have no fear, as I still intend to carry on, and God bless everyone.”

ITV
Jane Moore was visibly moved by the message from her friend

This pre-recorded message marked the first time Dame Barbara had spoken out since the news of her condition was revealed, although several of her famous friends have offered updates.

Earlier this week, Christopher Biggins said the actress had been feeling “pretty low” about her deteriorating health, claiming that she was down about her declining short-term memory.

Paul O’Grady, meanwhile, gave a more optimistic interview, in which he said he was still in regular contact with the star, and she was still “the same Barbara Windsor” he knew and loved.

Photo galleryBarbara Windsor's Career In Pictures See Gallery