So, could Peggy Mitchell be returning to Albert Square?
“Well, she came back for the live ep, didn’t she? I loved doing that. The producer said, ‘We need more people like Barbara Windsor – she arrives on time and she’s always learned her lines’. Apparently they’re saying that working with Bonnie Langford is rather like working with me because she’s always punctual and knows her lines, too.”
Do you still love EastEnders?
“With a total passion. I always keep my eye on it. Danny Dyer is surpassing himself. He’s created this wonderful character, a sweet man who’s like a bloke from the 1950s.”
What are you working on at the moment?
“I’m doing the voice of the dormouse in the film Alice Through the Looking Glass, Tim Burton’s sequel to his Alice in Wonderland movie. I voiced the dormouse in the first film and it’s flattering to be asked to do the sequel. Tim is just the nicest man – so sweet and charming and he’s a fan of mine, would you believe?!”
Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter in the films… Have you met him?
“Not while recording my vocals, but I did meet him at the Royal premiere of the first film. I’ve been in this business a long time, but I was still a bit star-struck to meet him.”
Has any other star struck you like that?
“Meeting Paul Newman on Broadway in New York was something I’ll never forget. It was 1964 and I was performing in Oh What a Lovely War on stage, and he came to see the show. Afterwards he asked to meet me, but I couldn’t talk to him normally. I went all shy and silly, and I asked for his autograph for my mum and my Auntie May. He’d seen my 1960s film Sparrows Can’t Sing, and he said, ‘I love your baby carriage movie’. I looked into those blue eyes and was lost!”