EastEnders legend Dame Barbara Windsor, who plays Peggy Mitchell, is set be killed off later this year in a heart-wrenching storyline.
In a surprise twist last night, Peggy returned and dropped the huge bombshell on Phil that she has cancer and is dying.
Windsor has revealed that whilst she loves the character, she feels it is time to close the door on Peggy for good, saying: “Peggy is a character close to my heart but I made the decision a while ago that I need to say goodbye to Peggy once and for all as otherwise she will always be there, urging me to go back and that is something I need to shut the door on.”
Barbara admitted she was skeptical over her decision and wrestled with it, before informing the soap’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins of her plans to leave for good: “After thinking long and hard about it, I realised that it is time for me and the audience to say our final farewells to the lady who I have loved for many years and I thought that whilst the Guvnor, who I adore, is still in charge I want him to be the one to oversee it.
Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: ‘Barbara is the real guvnor of EastEnders. So when she told me her decision back in the summer, we both had a little cry before getting excited about how Peggy Mitchell, the matriarch to end all matriarchs could bid her final farewell to Albert Square.
‘In Peggy Mitchell, Barbara has created one of the greatest ever characters on British television, someone who has become as synonymous with EastEnders as The Queen Vic itself. So this is the end of an EastEnders era. But it is also an opportunity to send Peggy Mitchell out in style in what will be one of the most heartbreaking, uplifting and epic exits an EastEnders character has ever had.
‘We can’t wait to have Barbara back at EastEnders, even if it is for the final time. The most professional of professionals on set and off, and a true friend, we have all been working harder than ever to make Barbara and Peggy Mitchell proud.’