'We would read EastEnders scripts together': Barbara Windsor reveals unlikely secret friendship with Amy Winehouse

By Louise Saunders

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One was a national treasure starring in one of the country's best-loved soaps, while the other was a troubled singer battling alcohol and substance addictions.

But Barbara Windsor has now revealed she struck up an unlikely friendship with Amy Winehouse prior to her tragic death last year.

The EastEnders matriarch first became friends with the late star through her husband, Scott Mitchell, who had been a friend of the Winehouse family.

Unlikely friends: Barbara Windsor (L) and Amy Winehouse (R) struck up a secret friendship prior to the troubled star's tragic 2011 death
Unlikely friends: Barbara Windsor (L) and Amy Winehouse (R) struck up a secret friendship prior to the troubled star's tragic 2011 death

Unlikely friends: Barbara Windsor (L) and Amy Winehouse (R) struck up a secret friendship prior to the troubled star's tragic 2011 death

And the pair went on to forge a close bond as Amy received treatment for her demons at a London clinic near the couple's Regent's Park home.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the 75-year-old actress explained: 'I spotted her one day and said to Scott, "That’s Amy out there having a cigarette, you should go out".

 

'He told her to stop sitting outside and come in. Then, whenever she was there, she knew she didn’t have to sit on a wall and could come and see us.'

Although the women vowed to keep their friendship a secret, the soap legend explained they used to spend hours of 'quality time' together, with the singer seeing her home as a safe haven.

Learning lines: Barbara, pictured alongside on-screen sons Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden, would run through her EastEnders scripts with Amy

Learning lines: Barbara, pictured alongside on-screen sons Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden, would run through her EastEnders scripts with Amy

And Amy developed a particular penchant for reading through Barbara's scripts with her, reading the lines as either Pat Butcher or the star's alter-ego, Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell.

Barbara said: 'There was one really heavy scene between Peggy and Pat where it really kicked off. I pretended to be Peggy and for the first time Amy played Pat. Afterwards she always insisted on playing Peggy, which was lovely.

'That was one of our smashing moments. It was lovely and we always said we would never tell anyone.'

'Smashing moments': The pair used to spend hours together as Amy visited a clinic near Barbara's London home

'Smashing moments': The pair used to spend hours together as Amy visited a clinic near Barbara's London home

Both Barbara and Scott were left devastated when they heard the news of Amy's sad death in July 2011.

And although the couple stayed away from the funeral, they attended the third Shiva - a seven-day mourning period in Judaism - in which they prayed for the late star alongside her family.

Following Amy's passing, her father, Mitch Winehouse, approached Barbara to ask whether she would become a patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity set up in her memory.

Jumping at the chance to leave a legacy for her secret friend, the actress admitted being a part of the valuable work the organisation undertakes is a 'moving' experience.

Amy tragically passed away in the early hours of July 23 2011 at the age of just 27. 

Legacy: Following Amy's tragic death last year, her father Mitch Winehouse asked Barbara to become a patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation

Legacy: Following Amy's tragic death last year, her father Mitch Winehouse asked Barbara to become a patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation


 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I don't believe her anyone could make up a story if the person is dead.

Click to rate     Rating   8

It seems she's friends with everyone, doesn't ring true to me.

Click to rate     Rating   5

need some publicity do you ...........

Click to rate     Rating   8

So you're now writing articles based on conversations in chat shows aired weeks ago?? All this was revealed by Barbara Windsor on the Rob Brydon show a few weeks ago.

Click to rate     Rating   5

Why would they vow to keep their friendship a secret?!!!! This story is a bit odd.

Click to rate     Rating   12

I thought you agreed to never tell anyone ?!

Click to rate     Rating   14

she's the cockney julie goodyear

Click to rate     Rating   10

Old new DM, she told us all about it on the Rob Brydon show last week. So, now you are relying on a talk show and not so great comedian for you news. You must have been too busy with the Kartrashians.

Click to rate     Rating   5

I loved Amy..R.I.P. but Babs irritates the bejaysus out of me!

Click to rate     Rating   8

Barbara Windsor is a total rent-a-quote when it comes to celebrity deaths. I can't remember the last time someone famous died that she didn't know personally.

Click to rate     Rating   12

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