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Friday 6th December 2019

Shane Richie shares fears of day Barbara Windsor will no longer recognise him

The former EastEnders stars remain close friends

Presenter and EastEnders actor Shane Richie has opened up about his fears over Dame Barbara Windsor's health.

Shane, 55, has maintained a close friendship with his former soap co-star, 82, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014.

Speaking to the Mirror, he  said: "It has been horrible to see Babs' decline. You hear horror stories about someone with Alzheimer's where they don't recognise their own loved ones.

Read more: Barbara Windsor celebrates birthday with David Walliams

"That has to be the cruellest thing in the world," he said.

Barbara and Scott (Credit: SplashNews.com)

He added that so far, Barbara always recognises him and warmly greets him.

"Every time I have seen her, she has given me a big hug and she has these sparkling eyes and she says 'allo sweetheart. She is lovely."

It has been horrible to see Babs' decline

Shane said he texts Barbara's husband of 14 years, Scott Mitchell, 56, on a weekly basis to check in on her.

Although the legendary Carry On actress was diagnosed with the devastating illness in 2014, it was not revealed to the public until 2017.

Scott told ITV News earlier this year that Barbara had forgotten who he was on several occasions: "The day you dread is for that day they may not recognise you, and I experienced that maybe about two months ago or so and it did happen.

Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Read more: Ross Kemp planning documentary on Alzheimer's 

"And she did look at me and say 'I'm sorry, who are you?' It was very hard, it instantly hurt, I remember that. And I just kept talking, I said, 'It's me Bar, it's Scott'. I said, 'Don't worry, you're just having one of those moments."

Barbara announced on her 82nd birthday, earlier this month, that both she and Scott had become ambassadors for the Alzheimer's Society.

On this same day she made a public video message, asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to invest more in finding a cure for the disease.

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