Windsor: 'EastEnders saved my life'

Departing EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor once credited the soap with saving her life.

The 72-year-old signed up to play Mitchell matriarch Peggy on the Walford drama in 1994 after struggling to find roles following her Carry On film career. It is thought that she was £1 million in debt when she received the call to join Albert Square.

In an interview, Windsor commented: "EastEnders didn't just revive my career. It saved my life."

Reflecting on her first days with the programme, she continued: "I was as scared starting on EastEnders as I was when I stepped on the Carry On set. I had to prove myself in a different world."

The star added that her darkest moment came when she was forced to take time off from the programme after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus in 2003.

Discussing the emotions she experienced during her period of ill health, from which she made a full recovery, Windsor said: "I was covered in psoriasis, I went deaf, my eyes ran and then the depression set in. I'd pray I wouldn't wake up in the morning. I felt suicidal, hopeless."

Windsor announced yesterday that she is to leave her role as Peggy next year because she wants to spend more time with her husband. The star's agent later confirmed that she does not intend to quit showbiz altogether.

Source - Digital Spy

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