Barbara Windsor makes rare TV appearance to wish fans a Happy Christmas

Amy West
Contributor

Dame Barbara Windsor delighted fans as she made a rare TV appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday 12 December amid her ongoing dementia battle.

The former EastEnders actor appeared in a pre-recorded video with her partner Scott Mitchell, as she wished viewers and the show’s presenters a happy Christmas from herself and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Read more: Dame Barbara Windsor visits Downing Street to demand Boris Johnson helps dementia patients

During the same broadcast, Mitchell joined hosts Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins in the studio to talk about GMB’s 1 Million Minutes campaign, which aims to raise awareness of loneliness in the UK and inspire people to volunteer and spend an hour of their time with someone struggling with loss.

Barbara Windsor surprised 'Good Morning Britain' viewers as she made a rare TV appearance to wish them a happy Christmas on behalf of the Alzheimer's Society (ITV)

For the campaign, the show has teamed up with six charities, Grief Encounter, The Not Forgotten, The Silver Line, Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) and the Princes Trust and Alzheimer’s Society - which Windsor has been an ambassador of since her 82nd birthday in August 2019.

Providing an update on Windsor’s health, Mitchell said: “Barbara is doing okay, thank you. As we always say, it’s a progressive illness so you always expect things to get a little bit worse as you go along, but she’s still got that lovely sense of fun within her.

She still loves to sit there and giggle and I make her laugh and she makes me laugh.

“She’s still got that sparkle,” replied Shephard, as Mitchell noted: “She really has, but obviously the confusion is very unsettling for her. We’ve been really fortunate, we’ve had some really consistent friends and family who’ve been there since we went public with it.”

Dame Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell have been ambassadors for the Alzheimer's Society since August 2019 (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Windsor - who famously played Peggy Mitchell on the long-running BBC soap - was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in April 2014. She and Mitchell announced the news to the public four years later.

Read more: Shane Richie tells of fears over Barbara Windsor’s ‘cruel’ dementia decline

Earlier this year, Mitchell and some of Windsor’s former co-stars, including Jake Wood and Natalie Cassidy, took part in the London Marathon in aid of Alzheimer-related organisations.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.