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Saturday 4th April 2020

Rita Simons says Barbara Windsor 'is deteriorating' after paying EastEnders co-star a visit

Rita played Peggy's niece

Rita Simons, who plays Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, had said former co-star Barbara Windsor "is deteriorating" after paying her a visit.

In an interview with Express.co.uk, Rita revealed she had been to see the Peggy Mitchell actress, who has Alzheimer's disease.

Speaking about Barbara's condition, Rita told the publication: "Barbara is deteriorating, she remembered who I was which I was elated about."

Rita went onto praise Barbara's husband, Scott Mitchell, for looking after her.

She added: "Scott is unbelievably patient and he's amazing with what he does for her, but she's not doing great."

Rita and Barbara's characters were niece and aunt in EastEnders Credit: BBC)

Barbara was diagnosed with the condition in 2014, however she didn't make the news public until 2018.

Barbara is deteriorating, she remembered who I was which I was elated about.

In an interview with The Sun, Scott revealed his wife had the illness and wanted to set the record straight amid rumours about her deteriorating health.

He 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."

EastEnders cast members raised money for Dementia Revolution (Credit: Wenn/CoverImages)

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Last year, Scott, along with EastEnders stars Jake Wood, Adam Woodyatt, Natalie Cassidy, Tanya Franks, Emma Barton, Jamie Borthwick, Jane Slaughter and Kellie Shirley all participated in the London Marathon to raise money for Dementia Revolution.

Jake revealed they raised £151,367.21 for the charity as he shared a sweet picture of Barbara reuniting with her EastEnders castmates and their real-life families.

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Around the same time, Barbara and Scott urged the public to sign an open letter which asked the prime minister to sort out the devastating state of dementia care by immediate investment and address long-term reform for the social care system.

The letter received 100,000 signatures and was presented at 12:30pm on Monday September 2 2019 at Downing Street.

Last month, in an interview with The Sunday Mirror Scott told how his wife's condition was getting worse.

"I've definitely seen a progression in the last year," he told the publication.

Scott is devoted to Barbara (Credit: SplashNews.com)

"Barbara's symptoms have deepened, especially where her confusion is concerned.

"Constantly, she does not realise where we are, even in the house. She will ask me, 'When are we going home?'

"Sometimes she will ask me about people who have already passed away, as if they are still here. That is something she does regularly about her own parents. It is a very difficult one.

"It's heartbreaking. They are very difficult situations to be faced with."

He revealed she struggles the most with her short-term memory - and won't remember if she ate dinner 20 minutes before.

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