EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor has criticised the quality of the BBC1 soap and blasted bosses for killing off Pat Evans.
The 76-year-old actress, who is set to make a special one-off return as Peggy Mitchell in Friday’s episode, said on ITV’s This Morning: “It’s in a bit of a state at the moment. It’s not getting there. We’re third. We’ve never been third ever. So it needs working on.”
And while she had praise for new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, who she called “a wonderful guv’nor”, Windsor lambasted the show’s decision to bring about the demise of Pat (Pam St Clement) in 2012:
“[That] was a disgrace. We never understood it. She told me she wanted a little time off and next thing I know she’s phoning me up saying, ‘can I come and see you?’ and she looked at me with big tears and she went, ‘they’re killing me off Bar’. Nobody knew why and by God isn’t she missed.”
Windsor went on to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding St Clement’s departure, emphasising that it wasn’t the actress’s decision to leave: “I hope she don’t mind me saying that…I think everybody knew she didn’t want to go. It was a shock to her. She’s a good bird and she’s a good lady to have in a show like that.”
However, when quizzed by presenter Phillip Schofield about her own future plans, Windsor said that she would consider a further return to EastEnders:
“I don’t know about full time. Maybe part time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, I adore Steve [McFadden] and I adore Perry [Fenwick]. They very kindly gave me my favourite cameraman and favourite director. They wouldn’t give me that if I came back full-time.”
Viewers can see Barbara Windsor’s episode of EastEnders tomorrow at 8pm on BBC1.