Eastenders star Rita Simons shares sad update on Dame Barbara Windsor’s health

The soap star was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.

When it was announced in May 2018 that the much-beloved soap star Barbara Windsor had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the world was left in shock at the devastating news.

Barbara’s husband, Scott Mitchell, revealed that the 80-year-old had been told she’d got the disease in April 2014.

He went on to confess that her health was now beginning to falter – explaining why he had finally chosen to open up about it.

Now, Barbara’s former Eastenders co-star Rita Simons, who played Roxy Mitchell, has shared a heartbreaking update on the acting legend’s health. Rita played Barbara’s niece on the soap.

Speaking to the Daily Star Sunday, the actress revealed that Barbara’s condition has taken a ‘real dip’ recently.

Rita said, “From what her husband Scott Mitchell said to me, she has had a real dip lately.

“What I have seen is more confusion, which is really devastating to watch because she always had her marbles together and was always the life and soul of the room.

“It is an incredibly sad thought that my Aunty Peggy, which is what I’ve always called Barbara, isn’t herself.”

However, the 41-year-old also shared that luckily, Barbara and husband Scott still enjoy some good days together too, as he continues to look after his wife of 18 years.

She said, “From what Scott says there are some dark days but they still have good days, too.

“Scott is doing an amazing job. I don’t know what she would do without Scott.”

Rita’s confession comes just days after Barbara’s former on-screen son, Ross Kemp, also revealed details of her condition, after visiting her recently.

Dame Barbara Windsor’s Alzheimer’s: Ross Kemp praises decision to speak out

He revealed that he visited for over three hours, and that he and Barbara ‘laughed a lot’ as they caught up.

Ross told Good Morning Britain, “Put it this way, I went round for a cup of tea and I was there for three-and-a-half hours.

”Honestly, I had five cups of tea, three shortbread biscuits – which is not good for my diet – and I laughed a lot.”

The star continued, “I think what she’s done is very brave, she has a great husband in Scott [Mitchell], he’s been very supportive.”