Barbara Windsor has told how she left EastEnders last year because she felt overworked and the writers killed off her co-star Larry Lamb.

The actress, 73, played Peggy opposite Larry as screen husband Archie Mitchell, who was murdered in the Queen Vic.

Barbara told The Vanessa Show on Five: “He’s a real nosh. I was devastated when they made him into a murderer. I thought we’d be there for ever actually… We got on so well.”

She admitted: “I’d been a great fan of his. I was terribly nervous when he came in… I put my highest heels on because he’s so tall.

“I never thought I’d leave EastEnders, but a few things happened.”

The star said she used to be able to ‘switch off’ from the soap when she came through her front door.

But she revealed that one day, her husband Scott Mitchell complained that everything they talked about always went back to EastEnders.

Babs said: “I thought that was a warning sign. When we started doing Saturdays… I thought ‘this is too much, I’ll go’.

The actress, who still misses the on-set camaraderie, said she finally decided to bow out when scriptwriters decided to ‘kill Larry off’.