Pam described meeting Barbara as “fortuitous” as she appeared alongside Bab’s old friend Christopher Biggins.
Speaking to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Pam sad: “I was working at Joan Littlewood’s theatre in Stratford East and I was doing a play where I had to turn to somebody. It was a period piece – I had a long frock – I had to turn to somebody and just moon, just flip the back of my skirt up and show them my bottom!
“I heard this ‘ha-ha-ha’ from the audience... ‘What’s that? It sounds like Barbara Windsor!’” Pam continued. “Indeed, that was the first time, how prescient that was the fact that I met her afterwards and she said, ‘I loved it.’
“How prescient that was that many years later, actually, we were together on the set of EastEnders.”
Pam also shared her fond memories of working with Barbara on the BBC soap, where she played Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell on-and-off from 1994 to 2016.
She recalled: “It was such an extraordinary thing when we knew that Barbara was coming into the show. Oh my gosh, what are we going to do, Barbara is coming - I felt like curtsying!
“Of course, I was terribly worried about her stature. We always, in the old days, used to hang the glasses over the top of the bar and, of course, Barbara was quite small so after she washed up the glasses or wanted a glass to pour some beer into, how would she reach these? But, we soon organised that so she’d be comfortable.
“Bless her, she said to me, ‘Please, please tell me if I’m not doing anything right, if I’m, if there is anything you can help me with behind the bar.’ She probably had more experience behind a bar than I did! She settled into that beautifully.”
Of her overriding memory of working with Barbara, Pam continued: “I think all those wonderful scenes that were written for Pat and Peggy, particularly over the storyline with the love story with Frank.
“We had such fun, we had such good times. We both had the same work ethic. And we just got in there and did it.”
Pam also said she had been in “close contact” with Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell throughout her illness, after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014.
However, she told of her “sadness” of not being able to see her friend for a year due to the pandemic.
She said: ”[Scott] has kept me up to speed as it were with everything that’s been happening. I have been out of the country for most of this year and so I wasn’t - nobody could go and visit her with the lockdowns and everything, it was impossible.
“Which is sad in a sense because I - it means I haven’t seen her for nearly a year. And that is a sadness to me.”
Following news of Barbara’s death, a number of EastEnders stars past and present paid tribute to her online, including Patsy Palmer, Danny Dyer and Jake Wood.
The soap also issued a statement on Barbara’s death on Twitter.
“We are all deeply saddened that that we’ve lost our Dame,” it read. “Barbara created an icon in Peggy Mitchell, our formidable Landlady.
“To all of us at EastEnders, she was our dearest friend, truly loved and adored by everyone. Our thoughts go out to Scott and Barbara’s family.”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.