Monday 21 August 2017

I hope Babs shows people the real me, says Dame Barbara Windsor

By Julia Hunt

Dame Barbara Windsor wanted the programme to reflect what her life has been.

Dame Barbara Windsor has said she was keen to tell her life story in a new film because she wanted fans to get a glimpse “behind the giggle and the wiggle”.

The actress’s rise to fame is recounted in upcoming BBC1 drama Babs.

Dame Barbara, 79, told Radio Times magazine she had been approached a couple of times about her life story being done but that “it had always worried me”.

She said: “But (director) Tony Jordan struck a chord when he said, ‘I want to get behind the giggle and the wiggle.’

“What I wanted was for the story to be true and reflect what my life has been and what moulded me to be the lady I am today.”

Told through recreated flashbacks, Babs also looks at the darker parts of the former EastEnders star’s life, including her turbulent relationship with her parents and her rocky marriage to first husband Ronnie Knight.

Dame Barbara said: “All our pasts shape who we are, for better or worse, but we have to own it and be honest about who we are.

“There’d be no point in me remembering an idyllic home life as a child with two parents who adored each other and pretend we were The Waltons, because my reality was that Mummy and Daddy were not right for each other and often it felt like a turbulent environment.

“That said, there could also be times of joy and they both taught me some invaluable lessons I’ve carried through my life.”

The star said she hopes the programme shows people “the real me” and how she has moved through the ranks of the industry.

“It hasn’t always been easy and, like most people, my own journey has been full of highs and lows,” she said.

“I’ve made mistakes and in equal measures had some great successes.

“But I’m proud to say I’ve always been honest about who I am and what I’ve done.”

This week’s Radio Times is on sale from Tuesday May 2.

Babs will air on BBC1 at 8pm on May 7.

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