Barbara Windsor had a panto audience in stitches as she joked with former EastEnders co-star Shane Richie at a recent performance of Robin Hood.
The legendary actress, who is living with Alzheimer’s, got the crowd at Milton Keynes Theatre laughing with the perfect response to a quip about her age.
Shane introduced Barbara, 81, as his “old friend” and said she “must have been in the business for 140 years!”
But Babs interrupted him to shout: “Oh no, I haven’t!”
In a video published by The Mirror, the former Carry On star can be seen blowing kisses from the stalls as she watches her friend on stage.
Afterwards, Shane explained to fans how he met Barbara in the 80s when he was working in Jersey as a comic and actor.
The two have been mates ever since. They first worked together in 2002, when Shane joined the EastEnders cast as new Queen Vic landlord Alfie Moon.
Speaking to the panto crowd about his friend, Shane said: “She’s come all the way today with her lovely husband Scott to come and support the show, we’re big fans of each other and she must have been in the business for 140 years.”
Barbara’s reply won her a standing ovation, and after the show she met fans to pose for selfies and sign autographs.
It emerged recently that some of her EastEnders co-stars and celebrity friends plan to run the London Marathon in her honour.
According to EastEnders actor Jake Wood, a band of Albert Square favourites is due to tackle the gruelling 26-mile race for Babs on April 28.
Barbara’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis was revealed in May. The degenerative brain disease left her suffering from confusion and memory loss, but the EastEnders legend has been taking medication to help with the symptoms.
Despite her illness, Barbara has managed to keep one foot in the celebrity social circuit.
Before Shane’s panto, she was last spotted just before Christmas at the London Palladium’s Snow White Gala Night.
Attending the event with 55-year-old husband Scott Mitchell, Barbara smiled for photographers and mingled with stars including Jennifer Saunders and Matt Lucas.
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