Loose Women star Jane Moore has revealed Barbara Windsor is “thrilled to bits” with the support she’s received after revealing she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The EastEnders icon, 80, has kept the devastating news secret since she and her husband Scott Mitchell found out in 2014.
During Thursday’s This Morning, Jane, who interviewed Scott about his wife’s condition, revealed Barbara is “totally aware” that the news has been announced to the public.
Talking about Babs, Jane told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “She’s having a really good today and she’s totally aware of what has happened today.
“She’s watching now and she’s absolutely thrilled to bits that there’s been such a positive response from the media and the public.”
“She sometimes repeats herself or gets a little bit confused,” Jane continued. “The great thing is she knows who she is, her history, what she’s done and how much the public love her.”
Jane revealed she’s known about Barbara’s diagnosis for about two to three years.
“There were rumours floating around for some time that something wasn’t right but we didn’t know it was Alzheimer’s,” Jane said.
“Scott was adamant he didn’t want it coming out. In the early days the symptoms were mild and she protected herself by being in a little bit of denial about it.”
Speaking about Scott, Jane said: “He was so upset talking to me. It was a release but he felt so guilty like ‘I can’t protect her anymore’.
“She was becoming housebound. When she went out, the public are like a moth to a flame with Barbara and she loves them, he was worried she would have done something to put it out there.
“He wanted to be in control of the situation. He rang me and said I want to reveal it in a controlled way and that’s what we’ve done,” Jane added.
During the emotional interview with Jane for The Sun, Scott said: “Since her 80th birthday last August, a definite continual confusion has set in, so it’s becoming a lot more difficult for us to hide.
“I’m doing this because I want us to be able to go out and, if something isn’t quite right, it will be OK because people will now know that she has Alzheimer’s and will accept it for what it is.”
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Some of Barbara’s close friends and co-stars have offered their support to the actress since the news emerged.
The actress’ on-screen son Ross Kemp shared a message to Twitter expressing his love for Barbara.
“Very proud of Scott and Barbara for speaking openly about Barbara’s diagnosis.
“I hope by talking openly it will make it easier for others to talk about this dreadful disease.”
He added: “I love both Barbara and Scott very much.”