In a surprising gesture that possibly only Barbara Windsor could get away with, the effervescent Dame will be making an appearance in the biographical drama of her life story – as the ghost of her future self, it has been revealed.
Writer Tony Jordan tells Radio Times that he was incredibly nervous to present his finished script to the veteran actress, but to his relief, she liked it so much she agreed to take part herself in the drama, which airs on Sunday evening on BBC One.
“I’ve submitted a lot of scripts, done 150 hours of television, but that was scaredest I’ve ever been. Terrified for two days, four bottles!” But she loved it, vetoed nothing, and pops up, a ghost of her future self, three times in the film.”
Actress Jaime Winston who shares the younger role with Samantha Spiro adds that Barbara’s appearance comes during an emotional scene in a café, with Jaime playing the younger version.
“There’s one moment where I’m sitting in the café with her and [first husband] Ronnie Knight and I look across to my older self — real Barbara! — that was very emotional. You don’t often get moments when you’re playing a real person and act in a scene with her.”
‘Babs’ tells the story of Barbara’s ascent from East End girl to one of the national treasures of our age, including turbulent times when she called upon as a youngster to give evidence in her parents’ divorce, when she found fame with the Carry On films and when she was down on her luck, until she got her defining role in ‘EastEnders’.
Tony Jordan, former head writer on the soap that gave Barbara her later big break, says now: “Why on earth didn’t we do that before? It makes no sense! Most famous cockney sparrow we ever had! Of course she had to be in EastEnders!”
‘Babs’ is on BBC One on Sunday evening at 8pm. You can read the full interview with Tony Jordan in next week’s Radio Times, on sale now.