No, the BBC haven’t invented a time machine (Tardis aside), they’ve just done a fabulous job at casting Jaime Winstone as a young Barbara Windsor for upcoming drama Babs.
Newly-released images show Kidulthood and Dead Set star Winstone in character as the renowned singer and actress who shot to fame after first dazzling directors at a young age. Although the drama will show her stardom as part of the Carry On films, it will also have a take on her rocky relationship with her father and first husband Ronnie Knight.
And Winstone doesn’t only just look the part: she had Windsor’s blessing years before production started. “About 15 years ago I sat behind Barbara at an awards ceremony and when she heard me laugh, she said: ‘You should play me!” she told What’s On TV.
Winstone won’t be the only actress to play the Eastenders star. Samantha Spiro (below, right), who has already played Barbara Windsor in the stage play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, also stars as the titular character in Babs.
So, how will the 90-minute biopic work? Babs opens in 1993, just prior to Windsor joining EastEnders in the role of Peggy Mitchell, a character she went on to play for over 15 years. Then the show looks back on her life, from her first taste of stardom to her relationships with gangsters The Krays. Nick Moran, Zoe Wanamaker and Leanne Best are also in the cast.