EastEnders legend Dame Barbara Windsor reveals why she quit panto

Her Christmas schedule is a lot quieter these days

She has been a familiar face in film, television and on stage for decades.

However, Dame Barbara Windsor has revealed why she quit her annual pantomime involvement.

The former EastEnders matriarch has put it down to the ‘shock’ of getting older – and wanting more time to see her friends’ performances instead.

Barbara has been in panto since she was 13 – she thinks it’s time for a break!

Speaking to The Sun, she said: “My life is different now.

“It took me a long time to get used to it because all of a sudden you look at your age and go ‘Oh Christ, I’m getting older.’

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 “I do like to perform but I don’t do it so much now.

“I suddenly thought, ‘No, I won’t do it now. Let them see me in Carry On films and they’ll still think I’m like that.”

Barbara wants to spend time watching her friends in action rather than taking to the stage herself over the Christmas period

She continued: “Christmas isn’t like it used to be.”

Barbara has totted up an impressive number of pantomime performances over the years.

She added: “My Christmas used to be panto.

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“From the age of 13 I did panto until I got to EastEnders.

“I liked all those commitments.

Babs played Peggy Mitchell from 1994 until the character was killed off last year (Credit: BBC)

“I haven’t done it for years but I go and see all my mates in it. I love it. We saw Jessie Wallace who was fantastic.”

At 80 years old, we think Babs has more than earned the right to put her feet up at Christmas!