Barbara Windsor is becoming a duller, more diluted version of her vivacious self as she slowly loses her fight against Alzheimer’s, her devastated husband has said.
Scott Mitchell, who has been married to the ex-EastEnders star for 19 years, has been supporting Babs since her memory started going nine years ago.
He first noticed something wrong with Barbara when she started drawing blanks during filming for her soap scenes, and had panic attacks about going out in public.
She stopped being able to do her own makeup and relied on Scott to pick out her outfits, having previously had lots of confidence about her personal style.
But Scott has vowed to stand by his wife until the very end, even as she fades away in front of him.
“I can wind the clock forward years and really frighten myself because I don’t know what’s going to happen from here to next year,” Scott told Chris Evans, who will join Scott’s London Marathon group next weekend to raise £100,000 for charity Dementia Revolution.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, to be honest, so my plan is that Barbara must always feel safe and loved as long as I can humanly make that happen. The rest is most likely way beyond my control.”
Scott said Babs still has rare moments of clarity, particularly when she’s back in environments where she’s always felt comfortable.
“We went to the theatre last week and we had a rare kind of occurrence, and she loves that. The most amazing thing is when we walk into a theatre to take our seats, the audience applaud. It is the most beautiful thing that you’ve ever felt in your life, it just melts me,” he went on.
“There’s something about the theatre that resonates within, inside that woman, that is a part of her, that feels natural, that feels at home, that feels safe, belonging.
“It’s a really strange thing because – and this has happened twice – I’ve seen her go through all this wonderful stuff in a theatre, and when we get home we stand outside our house and she’ll say, ‘Why have you brought me to this place? This is where I live with Mummy,’ and it isn’t. Gone again.”
Asked what he wants most for Barbara, Scott said: “I wish for her to not have any pains or fears that I see her going through now, to somehow within always have a sense of who she was and what she gave to people and to know that whatever her doubts, she was good enough.”
He added: “You can’t put it into words. It’s just something within me, it’s part of me, part of my soul, part of my being, how much I love her. I can’t measure it on anything.”