Friday 11 August 2017

Barbara Carries On ... as Peggy Mitchell


I couldn't celebrate Dame Babs without mentioning EastEnders. No, I'm not that show's greatest fan, preferring my soap opera action with added cobbles. However EastEnders marked a very important point in Barbara's career. Down in the doldrums by the early 1990s, the stigma of being that bubbly Carry On blonde had meant Barbara was offered precious little in the way of serious acting work.

However, always the fighter, Barbara continued to work in summer season shows and touring her own one woman show across the country in regional theatres. The call from the BBC to offer her the role of Peggy Mitchell could not have come at a better time for Babs. In the Queen Vic landlady and Mitchell matriarch, Windsor cast aside that comedy blonde persona and showed the world the serious actress lurking beneath that fluffy innuendo-encrusted personality. 

So here are some of my favourite Peggy moments from Barbara's 16 years in Albert Square:

First up, a memorable scene from the late 1990s in which Pat Butcher's affair with Peggy's husband Frank was given a very public outing!

Next, we have a lovely little montage of Peggy's squabbles and fights with fellow Enders legend Pauline Fowler. There's some cracking scenes featured here and the two former Carry On actors (Windsor and Wendy Richard) are on sparkling form:

Back to Peggy and Pat now with some very funny, touching moments from later on in their EastEnders career when they took drunken charge of an ice cream van (I have absolutely no idea why):

And probably the most iconic of all Barbara's moments in EastEnders, again with Pam St Clement as Pat. Fighting in Pat's kitchen, things turn rather ugly...

I suppose I can't finish this blog without a bit of this:

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