Anna Wing, best known for her role as sharp-tongued matriarch Lou Beale in EastEnders, has died aged 98.

The actress, who appeared in the BBC1 soap from its start in 1985, passed away on Sunday, her agent said.

Wing played Lou for three years, alongside Gretchen Franklin as her best friend Ethel Skinner, until the character was killed off in 1988.

Following her role in EastEnders, Wing appeared in The Bill, Casualty and most recently, Silent Witness.

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours for her services to drama and charity.

Stars of the long-running soap have paid tribute to the actress.

Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale (Lou’s grandson), said: “So sad to hear that Anna Wing has passed away. She was a wonderful lady, very helpful and giving, I learned so much from her.

“I worked with Anna on The Witches and the Grinnygog before she became my gran in EastEnders.”

June Brown, Walford’s Dot Branning, also paid tribute: “I had known Anna since we were in a film together many years ago, before having the pleasure of working with her on EastEnders.

“She was a very generous woman in many ways and an excellent actress who made a script her own, lifting the character off the page and made it quite different from what you’d have expected.”