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Friday 10th April 2020

EastEnders' Natalie Cassidy says Wendy Richard and Barbara Windsor taught her everything

She has revealed who taught her to be an actress

Natalie Cassidy has revealed EastEnders legends Wendy Richard and Dame Barbara Windsor taught her everything she knows.

The Sonia Fowler actress credited her former co-stars for teaching her how to be a professional actress from when she joined the soap aged 10.

Natalie revealed she learned everything she knows from Wendy (Credit: BBC)

Writing in The Sun about her long career on the soap, she said: "Dame Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richard taught me everything I needed to know when I started.

"They taught me about respect for others in our workplace, and both repeatedly drummed it into me not to be late, to learn my lines and arrive on time.

"These strong matriarchs will never leave me. Strong women are the lynchpin of Albert Square from the great ladies I have ­mentioned to now — Shirley, Big Mo, Denise. Kathy, Sharon (who I shall talk about later) and to the future — Stacey, Linda, Whitney and maybe even Sonia..."

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Wendy, who died in 2009, played Sonia's mother-in-law Pauline Fowler in the soap until the fruit and veg matriarch died on Christmas Day 2006.

Dame Barbara played the legendary Peggy Mitchell until deciding to ask for her to be killed off when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

Last year Natalie ran the London marathon in an effort to raise money and awareness for charity Dementia Revolution.

Dame Barbara decided to kill Peggy off in 2016 (Credit: BBC)

She has been close friends with Barbara ever since she joined the soap aged 10 and she has spoken out about the star's battle before.

Natalie previously told the Mirror: "I remember this powerhouse, this tiny woman who was absolutely frank and honest.

"It didn’t matter if you were a little girl or an old man, she would tell you how it should be. The professionalism and etiquette that she would bring.

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"She taught me how to learn your lines, you must be kind to the crew, you must never be late, it’s only a job, you are as good as the person you talk to."

The soap will celebrate its 35th anniversary later this month with a special week of explosive episodes.

EastEnders airs weeknights on BBC One.

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